That's right, the Battle of Lumbridge has finally come to a decisive conclusion. In a short and anticlimactic cutscene, Saradomin quite literally kicked Zamorak on his butt.
It started with the unskippable cutscene we were all forced to watch upon login a few months ago. Saradomin and Zamorak were locked in a battle for power and control, with recruiters seeking the assistance of none other than us, the adventurer. Our assignment was to collect objects called divine tears for the side of our choosing. We could engage in passive methods, such as fishing, woodcutting, or mining, or, more aggressively, kill the enemy units.
The Battle of Lumbridge lasted ten weeks and then some, and as you probably saw for yourself, soaked up many hours of time for most people on RuneScape. I don't mean this in a bad way-rather I am saying that people were there and they were playing. Of course, one is quick to point out that most content that people use to grind to 99's or achieve higher skills is similarly repetitive, but this was something different. As a limited time event (even if the limit was not particularly strict), it still managed to draw people in for weeks, albeit (one hypothesizes) mainly in pursuit of the rewards.
Coming from the perspective of someone who has played F2P constantly and consistently, there was something refreshing about this content. For almost every update I can remember, I recall things that are either members-only or have had a quite heavy P2P-only component. For example, Super September (P2P only), the new skill Divination (P2P only), task set for dungeoneering (again 100% P2P), and the list goes on. The F2P world is quite cluttered with P2P spoilers and whatnot-click on the wrong thing and a popup comes up advertising to subscribe.
However, Battle of Lumbridge was refreshingly free of all that balderdash. You could mine, woodcut, fish, or kill NPC's without being told 'you can only attack that on a members' server.' Even the weapon overrides, initially for P2P only, were given to F2P later on in the event. First, the fragments were made F2P in the fourth week, then the weapons were changed over in the seventh. At the end, there was a rock "stuck" as sacred metal that you could click on and easily obtain all the overrides with a bit of afking. It's true that F2P had a much lower cap on the amount of daily tears they could gather, but at least we didn't have a popup daily advertising us to buy membership to gather more tears. I don't think it the difference in the cap was even advertised in any of the newsposts.
Of course, BoL was not without one or two bumps in the road. Experience was awarded for collecting tears or killing NPC's, and in terms of mining, the xp went from pitiful to easily the fastest in the free to play game. (It's my day off from efficiency calculations, so just take my word for it!) There was also the nerf to the warpriest armor* many players bought so that F2P would not have access to hybrid level 75 armor, and I guess wasting thousands of tokens made some players less than thrilled. It's also important to note (or remember) that xp was not buffed for several weeks, but I think it all averaged out to a nice amount in the end.
I thoroughly enjoyed both the content of the Battle of Lumbridge both for what it was and the fact that it was not merely utilized to force P2P down people's throats. Can Jagex do this kind of thing for other content as well, maybe giving access to F2P with a bit of a delay? Or have F2P, so to speak, won a battle in a losing war?
*The warpriest armor has three tiers, at defense level 25, 55, and 75, respectively. After the fourth week of the event, Jagex announced that only the first two tiers would be available for free-to-play, and that the middle tier would be changed to level 50 as well. As of publication of this article, this has not yet taken effect.